Spelt flour is stone-ground flour that is derived from spelt, which is an ancient grain. Spelt is a whole grain, and derives from durum wheat. It has a rich, nutty taste that resembles other whole wheat flours, and substitutes wheat flour in many recipes.
Artisans make spelt flour using a mill. These mills process the grains slowly, which retains flavor and minimizes the refinement process. Farmers first harvest spelt from fields, which grows primarily in Germany, but appears on farms in other parts of the world too.
Although a popular wheat substitute today, spelt dates back many years. It first appeared as a staple crop in the Middle East nearly 10,000 years ago. Its cultivation spread from the Middle East to Europe, and continued through the Middle Ages.
Spelt flour has a similar texture to wheat flour, but has a slightly nuttier and sweeter flavor. It is a popular substitute in many baking recipes, such as breads, pastries, pasta and more. People use spelt flour to make cookies too, along with biscuits and pies. Spelt bread and biscuits are savory lunch or dinner items made from spelt, while spelt apple-cinnamon waffles and muffins are popular breakfast items. In addition to flour, spelt comes in many forms, including whole, unprocessed grains. In this form, people use it like others, such as making salads.